HumanWildlife Conflicts in IndiaIn India there are many incidentsof human wildlife conflicts. Most of the population in India depend onagriculture and forests are cleared. Many of these man animal conflicts arisein natural wildlifeterritories. Many people are dying due to these conflictsand a huge quantity of crops are being destroyed and these conflicts are alsocausing psychological threats on affected communities.
Many animals are alsogetting killed and there is a disruption in the ecological balance.In India wild elephants kill morepeople than leopards, lions and tigers but human leopard conflict has much morepublic attention compared to other animals. All these wild animals are alsobeing slaughtered.The main reason for the increasinghuman wildlife conflicts is the presence of large number of birds and animals outsidethe protected areas. Monkeys come out into human settlements because theirnatural habitats were destroyed and they adapt to this environment quickly.
Monkeys can find food faster from these human settlements than from forests.Leopard attacks are increasing inIndia and many people are being attacked by leopards. Because of this leopardsare also being killed extensively in retaliation.The most number of cases ofhuman leopard conflicts are reported in Assam Maharashtra and West Bengal.TheCorbett National Park in Uttarakhand is famous for many eating leopards whohave caused a lot of human deaths.In the Sundarbans mangrove forestof West Bengal Tiger attacks are increasing as this area has a large populationof tigers. Human elephant conflicts are also on the rise especially in ruralareas of Kerala. The major areas where human bear conflicts arise in India isin Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
In all these conflicts there areloss of human and animal lives. Manyanimals are being endangered or even extinct due to these conflicts. Theleopards, tigers and even elephants are endangered and are protected in Indiaasthey are hunted for ivory tusks or bones. They are also killed by people whenthey come out into the human settlements. Even though they are protected thereare still an increasing number of conflicts arising and animal populations aredecreasing. or protected areas face severe problems because of human animalconflicts.Conflictsin KeralaIn Kerala mainly because of droughtthere has been an increase in human wildlife conflict especially in Wayanad andIdukki.
Human wildlife conflicts are on the rise because of intrusion of peopleinto natural habitats and because of changes in land use patterns. Animals likeelephants and boars are becoming aggressive and they are coming out into theplantations and farms and are destroying crops and causing injuries.The condition of the people living inor around natural reserves and forests are bad as they economically backwardand has to tackle the problems of human wildlife conflicts. They have a smallarea as their own and whatever they cultivate here for their subsistence aredestroyed by wild animals like boars, elephants, deer etc. They are alsoattacked by bears, tigers, leopards etc. They suffer huge injuries and loss ofproperty. The people who live on the fringes of forests are mostly tribals ormigrants.Wild animals have strayed into the bordersof forest areascausing crop losses and loss of lives.
Because of destruction ofwildlife corridors, degradation of forest lands, scarcity of food and wateranimals are coming out and are causing negative results.Over the years there has been anincrease in the number of forest fires mostly man made in the forests and ithas destroyed the forest areas.Water scarcity and droughts in the state has also paved way to theincreasing number of animals coming into human settlements attracted by theartificial water sources constructed by people. Because of hunting there hasbeen a significant decrease in the number of herbivores animals and this hascaused carnivorous animals to feed on sheep’s or goats who are reared by humans.If this continue there will benegative impacts on eco conservation in the long run as people will only thinkabout their survival and not about coexistence. Animals attacks humans and theywill forget about conservation and will start to blindly kill animals.Kerala is developing and rapidurbanisation is happening in Kerala and this has led to the fragmentation ofnatural habitats of animals and has increased the conflicts in the state.
In Kerala too these animals arebeing killed brutally and they suffer a lot because of destruction of theirnatural habitat. These animals are already being hunted for fulfilling theselfish needs of humans but these increase in changes of land use pattern andblocking of traditional movement paths has resulted in an increase in the number of wild animals which are beingkilled. Mananimal conflicts in Wayanad and IdukkiIn many regions of Wayanad there isa serious threat from tigers who usually kill cattle and injures or killspeople. A team of officers from police department goes in search of thesetigers and they are called as animal trackers.
The droppings of tigers, scratchmarks, remains of their kills, smell, tuft of hair caught between plants andall indicates the presence of tigers in an area. These trackers usually surviveon plantains and water while trying to track tigers.The tiger threat is sosevere in this region and the ForestDepartment has proposed to create a natural enclosure for this animal.The banks of Anayirangal dam reservoirin Idukki is a hot bed of conflicts especially human elephant conflicts. On thebanks of this dam there is a colony called 301 colony where 301 tribal familieswere given land as part of a rehabilitation project. They were given land aftera protest which was staged in Thiruvananthapuram and tribal peoplebuilt makeshift huts near the state secretariat. The protest lasted for forty eight daysthen the government agreed to give one acre of land and financial support untilthe tribal families become self sufficient.
Colonies were set up in manydistricts mainly in Kannur, Palakkad, Wayanad and Idukki.In Idukki a pine plantation nearAnayirangal dam was cleared for constructing settlements but soon herds of elephantsbegan to come out into these settlements. The pine plantation was a main sourceof water and food for the elephants and there already small habitat becamesmaller because of these new settlements for the homeless tribal families. Thispaved way to conflicts and elephant raids and most of the people abandoned thisland.Idukki has a lot of mountains andforests and the clearing and human interventions into these areas has resultedin increased conflicts especially between humans and elephants.
These areas aremainly populated by tribals, labourers and migrants and because of changes inhabitat there has been an increase in conflicts in these areas.Large areas of forestshave beencleared and converted into farms and plantations especially of tea, coffee,cardamom and pepper.The degradation of forests, eco-insensitive projects, and unscientifictourism methods have all contributed to the increasing number of conflicts.People are making electric fences but elephants are intelligent enough to breaktree trunks and insulate the fences.In Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary the IndianPurple Frog which is an endemic and endangered specie is facing threats ofextinction. The tribals in this area has been harvesting tadpoles and this haslead to the decrease in the number of these amphibians.
The number ofelephants, tigers boars and all are also decreasing and if this continues therewill be extinction of some species due to human animal conflicts.Crop raiding by animals is another important issue and there has beenan increase in crop raiding in Idukki and Wayanad. This crop raiding affectedthe farmer’s food and security and they retaliated by killing the animals.Themain crop raiders are elephants, rats, porcupines, squirrels, wild boars, and peacocks.Elephants destroys plantations of rubber, coconut etc.
Wild boars and squirrelsdestroys coconut farms and plantain farms and peacocks destroys paddy fields and vegetablesfarms.